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TV Newsman and Actor Mario Machado Dies at 78

Mario Machado RoboCop 3 - P 2013
Courtesy Everett Collection
Mario Machado in "RoboCop 3."

The pioneering L.A.-based Chinese-American broadcast journalist appeared in such films as “Scarface,” the “RoboCop” series and “Rocky III.”

Mario Machado, a veteran Los Angeles television news anchor and reporter who often played a journalist in films and on television, has died. He was 78.

Machado died Saturday at a West Hills, Calif., convalescent facility of complications of pneumonia, his daughter Michelle told the Los Angeles Times. He had been ill with Parkinson’s disease.

Machado worked for many years at KCBS-TV, its predecessor KNXT and other local stations, earning eight Emmy Awards along the way. In the early 1970s, he became one of the first, if not the first, Chinese-American on-air TV news reporters and anchors.

Born April 22, 1935, in Shanghai to a Portuguese father (a consulate official) and a Chinese-Portuguese mother, Machado played Casey Wong in three RoboCop films in a parody of TV anchors and portrayed an interviewer in Rocky III (1982) and Scarface (1983).

His first credited acting role came in 1969 as a technician in an episode of Mission: Impossible. He also appeared in the 1971 telefilm Brian’s Song, the films Oh, God! (1977) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) and in such series as Banacek, Wonder Woman, Barnaby Jones, The Rockford Files, Simon & Simon and Beverly Hills, 90210.

Machado also called World Cup soccer matches and hosted the medical investigation show Medix, which ran for eight seasons starting in 1967.